Abraham Lincoln’s been called a lot of things: Honest Abe, Father Abraham, the Great Emancipator, the Rail Splitter, even The Ancient One. But Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter? That’s a not one park rangers at the Lincoln Memorial commonly use.
Yet a new horror/history movie “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” opens June 22, and if the just-released trailer is any guide, it’s going to be a blockbuster. Think Stephen King meets Doris Kearns Goodwin, as filmed by Wes Craven, with a reincarnated Fess Parker in the starring role.
OK, that’s not exactly the movie’s provenance. It’s from a book of the same name, by Seth Grahame-Smith. Benjamin Walker plays Abe.
Mr. Grahame-Smith also wrote “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which we could never convince our book group to read.
The Vampire Hunter story is that Abe’s mother dies mysteriously, apparently due to some supernatural cause. He eventually learns that vampires are behind the South’s system of slavery. He gets himself elected president and fights the Civil War to end the fang-toothed scourge. Ax-related mayhem ensues.
Lest we of the Pundit’s Club get uppity about this alleged desecration of our 16th president’s true story, the Abe/vampire mash-up is getting a cautionary OK from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., according to the Los Angeles Times. Library staff members have been treated to an extended viewing of scenes from the upcoming film.
“We enjoyed it”, museum spokesman Dave Blanchett told the Times.
This got us to thinking: What if Lincoln really was a vampire hunter? That would explain some things about his personal history that historians argue over today.
Lincoln’s tendency to melancholy and black moods was well known in his lifetime. What was the source of this personality trait? If he was worried about vampires, that would explain a lot.
Lincoln’s body was unusually shaped, with long arms, a tall frame, and so forth. In the modern era some have tried to link him with various physical conditions that resulted in an odd body shape. But if he was swinging an ax constantly to ward off evil, wouldn’t he develop into an unusually strong chief executive.
Lincoln was a gentle man who fought the Civil War ferociously, accepting nothing but total victory. This made sense if he wanted to ensure the Union’s survival and the death of slavery. It would also make sense if he needed to ensure that vampires would flee the US to other continents.
Also, if it’s successful, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” could open up a whole new film genre: the wonky horror film. Think “I Know What You Did Last Sequestration,” “The Blair House Witch Project,” or “Scream 5: The GOP Debates Continue.”
Got any suggestions for Washington horror movies of your own? Tweet them my way. Maybe we can get a hashtag going. #realscaryDC, anyone?